Our Australian Shepherd Has Extreme Fear Of People

by Alex Adams
(Kingston, NY)


I've had sweet Leroy since he was 1 year old. He was skittish of people then, and we worked hard taking him places to socialize him. But it was always very difficult and he only got worse. He barks at the sight of a person, no matter how far away.

We have changed our lives for Leroy. We used to enjoy company, family, and friends. Small children are no longer allowed in the house. We can't take Leroy out on walks unless we're sure there will be no one in sight.

Leroy is on Prozac to help ease his stress around people and life. It helps, but not around strangers. We work with professional trainers, but little progress has been made.

Bottom line, we don't know what to do. He's so loving and sweet to us, and eager to learn and please, but the fear of strangers is so difficult to work around. It has negatively affected our lives so much so that we can't live the way we used to or would like to.

Our last option is to rehome sweet Leroy, with a family whose lifestyle would not be affected by his fear of strangers. Have any of you dealt with this?

Comments for Our Australian Shepherd Has Extreme Fear Of People

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Don’t give up
by: Anonymous

How old is he now? Our Aussie entered his fear stage at 14 months and it took him 2-3 years to come ALMOST back to the outgoing, confident dog he was before. He needed people saturation. Have good dog people over and make him realize he has to deal with them in order to get to his dish, etc. We also boarded him a couple of times at a place that had fantastic, non threatening young ladies on their staff who told us that it took him a while to warm to them but after two days he started coming around. Hope this helps.

Hard but don't give up!
by: Valerie

You need the RIGHT people to help you. You need someone to walk up and then away. People who understand not to stare at the dog and talk to him. It takes a lot of time and work and if you have the wrong strangers around it just makes it worse.

My dog is afraid of people too and will bark non-stop at people in my house. She had gotten much better though. 2.5 years later.

I also generally kennel her when someone is at my house if it's not someone who will be coming often (like say the plumber) Loose—she barks. In her kennel, she does not. Just a thought.

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